This post is part of a ten-part series showcasing my top 10 albums. Certain obvious legends (Beatles, Queen, Rolling Stones, etc.) are not in the list, these are albums not everyone knows or picks.
I recently discovered Rammstein. I mean, I knew they existed, but I didn’t venture into their musical meadow because I thought they were too hardcore metal for me and didn’t line up with the other music I listen to frequently.
But alas, they do. Rammstein has elements of Depeche Mode, KMFDM, Nine Inch Nails, Metallica… yet they are in a class by themselves. They’re industrial metal and all the lyrics are in German, which brings a unique demeanor to the music, across the spectrum between passionate and sinister. Vocalist Till Lindemann rolls his “r’s” dramatically; his diction and pronunciation is an instrument in itself. Crisp guitars, rolling bass, stomping drums with cascading feedback are all over this beautifully dark industrial metal work of art. I like KMFDM, and Rammstein blows them off the map. I’ve heard two tracks Rammstein did in English, Depeche Mode’s “Stripped” and “Pet Semitary”, I like the German language within Rammstein much better.
Herzeleid XXV is the 25th Anniversary version of Rammstein’s first album, Herzeleid (German for “Heartbreak”). Completely remastered, this version is sharper and more pronounced, a great, loud-as-hell time. The band’s name crops up throughout, and the album closes with the track “Rammstein”. My favorite track is “Du Riechst So Gut” (“You Smell So Good”) with “Heirate Mich” (“Marry Me”) a close second.
Of course, if you’re from Germany and sing in German, and have a symbol for your band and blow fire and black smoke and your stage crew wears uniforms, you’re going to catch some shit. And Rammstein has weathered controversy quite well, in fact, using it to their advantage. I’ll let you search the internet for the controversies, they aren’t worth distracting you with here.
Rammstein puts on a stupendous show, and nothing is out of the question – blowing fire above the audience, setting each other on fire, explosions, pyrotechnics, surfing the audience in an inflatable boat, there is no limit. In the concert film Amerika, Till Lindemann rides a hydraulic lift 35-40 feet into the air above the stage without any safety harness, then drops liquid fire on the stage into a tub containing keyboardist Flake – no, Flake isn’t hurt in this exercise, he emerges even more bedazzled than before and returns to his keyboard rack to tear into the next song while the floor beneath him moves like a treadmill. Rammstein’s stage takes a week to erect in a stadium, and they use every inch of it to deliver a massive visual and aural assault – a recent concert in Germany could be heard ten miles away, it’s that loud.
|1||Wollt Ihr Das Bett In Flammen Sehen||5:17|
|4||Asche Zu Asche||3:51|
|6||Du Riechst So Gut||4:49|
|7||Das Alte Leid||5:44|